Cosatu warns of chaos at Zuma trial

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Cosatu in KwaZulu-Natal has warned that the country would be thrown into chaos and that blood would "be spilt" following the latest charges brought against ANC president Jacob Zuma.

The National Prosecuting Authority filed an indictment on Zuma last week. He faces 16 charges in total - one of racketeering, two of corruption, one of money laundering and 12 of fraud.

Cosatu's provincial leader Zet Luzipho warned yesterday that there was growing anger from the people on the ground, especially in KwaZulu-Natal where Zuma has his biggest support base.

"People are now angry. This time there will be blood spilt in the courtroom. People are ready to put themselves in the frontline. We will not be held responsible for their anger."

During Zuma's previous court appearances, thousands of supporters showed up at the court, many holding all-night vigils and prayers ahead of his appearances.

Luzipho said the latest string of charges against Zuma smacked of a "political conspiracy" by those "who lost the political contest in Limpopo". He said he was saddened by the latest developments because "many of us saw Limpopo as an equal contest and not as a platform to create further enemies." He said the actions against Zuma further divided the ANC. "It is divisive and will plunge our country into chaos.

"As much as the NPA says this is an independent undertaking, it confirms to us that state machinery is again being used for political gain."

However, NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali said on Tuesday: "The NPA is sensitive to the controversy which this decision evokes. We are also aware of claims that the NPA is being misused to advance the political and other objectives of certain individuals. This is not so."